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The Developmment and Critique of the Social Model of Disability
The objective of this paper is to provide a description and analysis of the social model of
disability, and how it has developed during the past 30 years. Both academics working
in the field of disability studies, as well as practitioners providing disability services
have been increasingly influenced by its underpinning philosophy. Furthermore, the
“disability movement” utilises the social model as a political platform and tool to secure
the “rights” of disabled people, with the objective of ensuring that they enjoy the status
of full citizenship within contemporary society.
The social model of disability should not be considered as a monolithic entity, butrather
as a cluster of approaches to the understanding of the notion of disablement.